A report published by the Catholic charity, Aid to the Church in Need, revealed that Christians in Syria are suffering more repression and persecution now than when the Islamic State (ISIS) took control of large areas of the country in previous years.
The organization’s director in the Netherlands, Peter Broders, lamented the recent increasing persecution of Christians, saying: “What struck me the most was that our Christian brothers in the Middle East (Syria, Palestine and Iraq), the birthplace of Christianity, are now suffering worse than they were in the days of ISIS.”
Christians in Syria drop from 1.5 million to 300,000
Ongoing crises and migration threaten the survival of three of the world’s oldest and most important Christian communities in Iraq, Syria and Palestine.
According to the report, the number of Christians in Syria has fallen in a decade from one and a half million (10 percent of the population) before 2011 to about 300,000 today (less than 2 percent of the population).
Syrian Christians, like other segments of the Syrian people, have been subjected to several violations. The fate of some Christian clerics has been unknown for years, most notably the head of the Syriac Orthodox community, Youhanna Ibrahim, and the head of the Greek Orthodox community, Boulos Yazigi. The Syrian regime is accused of being behind their kidnapping.
Christians in Syria have also been subjected to violence and discrimination by ISIS fighters during their control of large areas of the country. Their churches have been converted into military headquarters, and their property confiscated.
Who is “Aid to the Church in Need”?
Aid to Church in Need provides several forms of support to Christians in many countries and is active at the regional level. It launches many projects to help the community and receives about 5,700 requests for assistance projects annually from 138 countries.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.